Cancun, Q.R. – The National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) has announced the beginning of whale shark season in the state of Quintana Roo.
The large fish have been spotted in the waters off Isla Contoy and the island of Holbox. Sightings of whale sharks is most prominent during the months of July, August and into September, however, their sightings already this year means they are beginning to arrive several weeks early.
Adult whale sharks, which are the largest fish on the planet, average 12 meters in length and weigh 21 tons. Their harmless nature allows for safe human observation with snorkel and diving tours.
Each year, the fish travel approximately 12,000 kilometres to the warm Caribbean waters. Internationally the species is considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, however on a national level, Semarnat has them listed as threatened. One of the largest local threats to the whale shark are driftnets used by fishermen.
The whale shark also visit other parts of Mexico including Baja California and the coast of Nayarit.